Attempted Saint-Gilles prison break: barristers for Olivier Martins plead for release
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    Attempted Saint-Gilles prison break: barristers for Olivier Martins plead for release

    © Belga
    Lawyers for Olivier Martins are clear about the injustice of his pre-trial detention.
    © Belga

    Michel Bouchat and Jean-Philippe Mayence, barristers for Olivier Martins, will plead for his release before the court in chambers today (Friday). They say that there is no evidence in the case to justify pre-trial detention in any form. Olivier Martins was arrested on Tuesday. He is suspected of having been involved in the attempted prison break of Mohamed Benabdelhak from the Saint-Gilles prison.

    This took place on April 13th, 2014. Benabdelhak was charged with being a member of a criminal gang and placed under arrest. He had been imprisoned in Saint-Gilles prison since January 2014. Benabdelhak was anticipating his extradition to France in a drug trafficking case.

    Several media outlets made reference to the links between the criminal lawyer, Martins, and the assassination of the Hilger brothers, as well as to the murder of a man who both owned a shop in Schaerbeek and lived in Campenhout.

    His lawyers stated, “We are terribly appalled that a source close to the investigation sent these links relating to organised crime to the media. This had absolutely nothing to do with Olivier Martins. Moreover, the latter was not questioned upon the matter. The case did not even make it possible to consider such hypotheses and establish a link between him and these other cases, which only aimed to cause him harm.”

    They added, “We have no evidence of the commission of any criminal offence by our client. His pre-trial detention is totally unjustified. Olivier Martins is primarily accused of being a member of a criminal gang. There are no other accusations against him.”

    The lawyers went on, “By the allusion to and confusion of this case with others, which also concern homicides, we fear both for the career and family life of Olivier Martins. However, the latter is a fighter having the sense of being caught in a trap.”

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times